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Publisher's Summary

George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.

©2009 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"All the good things are there: the Balkan complexities of plot; the Dickensian profusion of idiosyncratic characters; and above all, le Carré's glistening social observation." ( Time magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ron
  • 04-01-17

Smiley goes east

...we not quite, Smiley in this book is not the main character, but that does distract from the story, which is multi layer based in the east and London. Good narration, and I felt a more straight forward plot than Tinker Tailor

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  • ADB
  • 09-28-16

Don't get it

My first disappointment with Audiobooks. Struggled through half of the book and just never got into the story. The narration didn't differentiate enough between the characters. So as life is too short I deleted the book after persevering for the first half and downloaded a new book for my long car journeys. Sorry but no!

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  • Chris
  • 04-28-16

Tedious

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not sure why, but the book seemed to drag. I couldn't even bring myself to listen to the end. The story line was confusing, bland and yes, tedious. Maybe you need to read Le Carre in book form to speed past the over indulgent scene setting.

Would you ever listen to anything by John le Carré again?

not sure

What three words best describe Michael Jayston’s performance?

ok

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  • M
  • 12-13-15

Right in the Le Carre stable

I've listened to a few Le Carre's and this one follows the expected enjoyable thread. The storyline builds well and includes his typical descriptive detail. Well read too; characters are effectively brought to life.

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  • Liz... Bristol
  • 12-02-15

A plot against Smiley?

This is the 'missing' story that the BBC didn't make, it lies between the two that they did, Tinker, Tailor... and Smiley's People. With Michael Jayston reading, it fits right in. He really does give le Carre's world a sense of gravity. In particular the ending; it has just enough information to show what happened, while leaving us wanting to know more about the fallout for the leading characters.

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  • Unretired
  • 10-26-15

Another great listen

Really enjoyed it. It might be me having not paid enough attention to the story but I was a touch disappointed by the denouement of the story!

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  • Craig Mowbray.
  • 08-15-15

A little colour to Smiley's grey world

Although the second book in the trilogy it can be enjoyed in isolation or avoided altogether without impact on the series. Piggot Smith is again wonderful in portraying Smiley and the usual subjects but struggles with a few of the more 'colonial' accents. StillI, I can forgive all as this is a truly excellent audio book.
Probably due to the foreign locations the atmosphere is less claustrophobic than the other two books. The bleak UK and European locations replaced by images of a manic and chaotic Far East. Wonderfully painted, the book travels at a greater speed and with more open intensity than the other two and I found I enjoyed equally but different ways.
Fabulous

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  • Mr B F Hambling
  • 08-12-15

Great story well told

This a terrific spy story that displays spies at work both in the strategic centre (the Circus) and out in the field. Michael Jayston brings all the characters to life and the tale is both fascinating and suspense filled from beginning to end. A must for Smiley devotees but a great listen for anyone who likes their stories to contain rich and accurate detail.

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  • Steve
  • 12-21-13

Second of the Karla trilogy

Any additional comments?

Excellent. And the trilogy overall is compelling read. This was easier to follow than book 1. The trilogy Introduced me to le Carre and hooked.

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  • mr
  • 12-19-13

Top Entertainment

Would you listen to The Honourable Schoolboy again? Why?

This is already my third visit to the Karla Trilogy, but the first on audio. Superb. Very well narrated, he gets the voices and accents really well. Credible and engaging

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Honourable Schoolboy?

Jerry's chase across Asia after Ricardo. Places brilliantly brought to life.

Which character – as performed by Michael Jayston – was your favourite?

Jerry. Just great. See Joss Ackland do him in Tinker Tailor... uncannily similar.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

He did it all for love

Any additional comments?

Already bought Smiley's People.